“New immigrant mothers should be given shorted parental leave” Maud Olofsson


Saturday, 18 June 2011
Longer parental insurance prevents immigrant women from entering the Swedish labour market. Therefore it should be that women living in Sweden with an immigrant background should receive shorter parental leave.

That is the some what controversial policy proposed by the centre party to young parents who have moved to Sweden. Party leader, Maud Olofsson would not stop to make suggestions, just because she has announced her resignation as party leader this autumn. In an interview with radio Sweden on Saturday Olofsson said that the number of days for newly arrived immigrant women to get parental leave should be drastically reduced.

Olofsson, referring to a report from the Expert Group for Studies in Public Economics, which argues that parental insurance acts as a trap for women of immigrant background with small children to stay at home and less inclined to get a job.

The Centre party leader also claims that the generous allocations of parental days prevents immigrant children from attending preschool and get to know other children.

It is not clear how much these politicians and the expert groups in touch with the Swedish society. If they were making these insinuations in a country where everything remain equal that an economy where there in zero discrimination based on origin, one would understand. But an economy where there are lots of skilled people with immigrant background finding t hard to get a job just because of discrimination in the job market make some people ask the question whether these studies even mean anything.

Already Gender Equality minister, Nyamko Sabuni  of the People’s party (Liberal party) who is black African herself, came up with a similar proposal last year and was met when the harshest of  criticisms. People of the immigrant community claimed that she was trying to constrain her own type of people after having ‘made it’ to the top. ‘Now you don’t want to drop us the ripe fruits to us under the tree’ people in the immigrant community had said to her.  Even then, the People’s party leader Jan Bj�rklund, distanced himself from her proposal. Nyamko Sabuni had then after coiled and stayed quiet.

Today, Maud Olofsson, has emerged with the idea and maintains that there is reason to discriminate against immigrants.
“I think it is a problem that makes it hard for people not to enter into Swedish society,” says Olofsson to radio Sweden.
Integration Minister Eric Ullenhag of the people’s party says he wants to look at the report's proposals.

The Swedish government is divided on the issue. Moderates do not want to comment on it and the Christian Democrats are totally against the proposal.
Christian Democrat’s party leader, Social Affairs minister G�ran H�gglund said that “this is a very small problem. To the extent that there is a problem, you should perhaps think about how to find other ways to solve the problem instead of tightening parental leave scheme which give the children and parents time together.”
By Team

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